Tag Archives: Freegift Stout

Obadiah Stout: Turbulent Times

Obadiah Stout 1745-1830

Frankly, if it had been up to me, I doubt that the Ohio Country of the Northwest Territory would have been settled. Thank goodness for people like Obadiah Stout and his family.

Obadiah Sout, my 6th great uncle, child of Freegift Stout, lived a life on the front edge of history and the western edge of American civilization in the late 18th century. When he died, he left behind sons and grandsons who broke new trails even further west than he wandered. That makes Obadiah well worth investigating. But what a bunch of mysteries remain.

The Mysteries of the Basic Facts about Obadiah Stout

Researching Obadiah Stout resembles putting together a jigsaw puzzle after someone has spilled it on the floor and several pieces have rolled under the sofa. Among the things I do not know:

  • When did Obadiah marry?
  • What was the maiden name of his wife? She is known as Mary McBride or Margaret McBride, but Stout and Allied Families says she was a widow of a McBride. (I assume her name was Mary Margaret.)
  • Where were his first two sons born? Which relates to when did he leave New Jersey?
  • Where exactly did he go when he left New Jersey?
  • Although there are census records with age for a few of his ten children, I have no other proof of when they were born, and therefore the “where” is also in doubt. In fact, two of the children who are most frequently listed in family trees may not exist. And one source lists two others that I do not include for lack of corroborating evidence.

The Mystery of the Revolutionary War Service of Obadiah Stout

But if you think all of that is frustrating—Obadiah was the right age to serve in the Revolutionary War, and New Jersey was in the epicenter of the fighting.

The Daughters of the Revolution, in compiling a list of Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Ohio,1929, list him as a soldier. The Adjutant General of the State took their work at face value, and distributed the book of Ohio soldiers’ graves. However, their “proof” of Obadiah turns out to be a reference in a paper written by a member of a Historical society. And although I have not seen that paper, I’m willing to bet it was based on the book, A History of Adams County,Ohio (1900) the earliest source I have found for the information. That book, by Evans and Stivers, states “(Obadiah) was a native of New Jersey and had served in the Revolutionary War.” Later books use the same words.

Here’s the catch. The Adjutant General of New Jersey made a list of all the Jerseyites who served, and Obadiah is nowhere in that book. (1929) Obadiah moved to Pennsylvania’s “Redstone Country” between 1774 and 1777. So could he have first moved to Pennsylvania and THEN signed up to fight? Given the importance attached to service during the Revolutionary War, it seems odd that if he served, no one mentions with what unit, in what state, and for what period of time he served. But as I read of frontier life, maybe not so odd after all.

1776 Pennsylvania Counties
The county lines of Pennsylvania in 1776. From the book The Pennsylvania Line: Regimental Organization and Operations 1776-1783 by Tressell.

Obadiah Stout Lived in the Wild West

He lived in Redstone Country in Western Pennsylvania after he left New Jersey, and the area, probably Westmoreland County, definitely classified as frontier. While many men were conscripted or volunteered to fight during the Revolution,they spent their service protecting settlers from Indians rather than fighting the British.

There is a reason that all of the information about Obadiah and his family is so hard to find. A book entitled The Pennsylvania Line: Regimental Organization and Operations 1776-1783 brings home to me how rough shod life was on the Pennsylvania frontier. I read there, “…company personnel records virtually non-existent.” So there you have it. . Law enforcement, let alone bureaucracy, had not been well developed in this “Wild West.” And record keeping was not a priority in frontier Kentucky or Ohio, either.

The Mystery of When and Where He Migrated

Redstone Country

Obadiah left New Jersey with other Jerseyites who were heading west. At some point he married a widow, Mary Margaret (McBride), either in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. Lacking proof of birth, the consensus is that his first son was born in 1774, but in which state? Some trees say that his third son was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, but again, I have no proof.

Many accounts say that Obadiah migrated to Redstone, Pennsylvania. If we look at current maps, that looks like a township just south of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. However, typical of the fast-changing geography of the 18th century, the complete story is complex.

According to Old Times in Old Monmouth,(1887), page 24, a wave of emigrants from New Jersey moved westward between 1780 and 1850. They emigrated to “Redstone Country.” Redstone Country consists of red rock lands in Pennsylvania and Virginia west of the (Allegheny) mountains.

It seems likely that the settlers who traveled from Monmouth County, New Jersey to Pennsylvania, were following Redstone Creek, which wanders north from the southern boundary of Pennsylvania toward the Monongahela River. The New Jersey emigrants might possibly have headed for the protection of a fort built in 1759.

Fort Redstone

From Wikipedia, describing the 1759 construction of Fort Redstone:

Geopolitically, Redstone was a frequent point of embarkation to cross the Monongahela River for travelers who had crossed the Alleghenies or were heading west via the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers by boat…Redstone Old Fort was the terminus of an Indian trail which settlers improved around the 1750. They afterward called it Nemacolin’s Trail, named after the Indian chief who assisted the improvement through the mountain pass. From this area, travelers could travel by water downstream on the Monongahela river to what is now Pittsburgh, or overland, by trails that later became Brownsville Road to the same destination The fortress site was chosen to guard and command the crossing point[notes 2] of the formidable east-west obstacle of the Monongahela River along the route of an Indian trail from the Potomac River—along one of the few mountain passes allowing traffic between the Ohio Country and the eastern seaboard cities.

The early settlement around the fort also came to be called Redstone, but eventually became known as Brownsville, Pennsylvania after its farsighted developer Thomas Brown. The use of “Redstone” devolved to apply to just one of its neighborhoods.

Father Changes Will

The more I read, the further I get from knowing exactly when and where Obadiah Stout traveled to and how he got there. A tiny clue exists. In 1763, his father had willed him land in New Jersey. A 1766 codicil to his father’s will changed that legacy to cash. Perhaps because he had traveled west?

Obadiah Joins Political Movement

Map of proposed state of Westsylvania 1776
Map of proposed state of Westsylvania from western Pennsylvania, parts of Virginia (later West Virginia) and Kentucky.

He could have gone by boat. He could have traveled by wagon across the Allegheny Mountains. The only solid clue lies in the fact that he joined a movement known as the Mercantile Movement in 1768, that organized around Fort Pitt in Pittsburgh. Their purpose, to form a territory known as Westsylvania, failed. Shortly thereafter, Obadiah moved on to Kentucky, across the Ohio River from the Ohio Territory.

Kentucky, on the Ohio River

Ohio Country- full

Note in this map, the red ex beside Blue Licks 1782. The settlement sits on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River. In early 1780, Obadiah and his family–wife and 4 or 5 sons who had been born in New Jersey or in Pennsylvania–moved to Blue Licks, Kentucky on Limestone Creek. Stout and Allied Families, calls the location Stout’s Bottom. The only mention I found a mention of Stout’s Bottom in a list published in the 1929 of geographical points along the Ohio River. It states that Stout’s Landing (!) is at the end of the Lewis County Kentucky highway leading to (ta-da!) Stout’s Bottom. However, I don’t know that the unfortunate name survived into this century.

More Politics–Kentucky County Lines

From https://www.kyatlas.com/+historic-counties/1790.html

Another small clue to his whereabouts can be seen in two petitions he signed in the 1780s, along with citizens of Bourbon County, who wanted Limestone Creek included in Bourbon County. Bourbon County was formed from Fayette County in 1786. Mason County was formed from Bourbon County in 1789, so the citizens apparently tried to influence the legislature’s decision on boundaries. The Kentuckians submitted their petition to the legislature of Virginia, as That state still governed Kentucky. The LImestone Creek folks failed in their attempt to join Bourbon County. Whether that influenced his next move, or he was trying to find a safer place for his family, by 1790 he had moved again.

Since they had moved to Kentucky, the family had added the first girl, born in 1782, and two boys born in 1783 and 1784. The last two daughters also must have been born in Kentucky, in 1785 and 1787. The family now included ten children, and they lived a life under siege. The settlers rowed across the Ohio River and cleared land, hoping to be able to settle there once the hostilities with the Indians allowed. Islands in the great river served as pastures for cattle, and their families stayed on the safer, Kentucky bank of the river.

A fort called Graham’s Station provided a haven against Indian attacks, and the family was there in 1790 when a ferocious attack occurred. Obadiah’s 7-year old son and namesake, and his 6-year-old son, John, were both scalped and died.

Obadiah Founds a Town in Ohio Country

In August 1795, the United States signed a treaty with Indian tribes in the Northwest Territory, unleashing an influx of settlers. The situation finally had calmed enough that Obadiah moved across the river to what became Green Township in Adams County Ohio. Specifically, he settled on Putenney’s Fork of Stout’s Run, just about directly across the Ohio River from the unfortunate Graham’s Station. (No trace of that Indian fort where he lost two of his children survives.)

People called the little village that Obadiah started with his family, Stout. If the ages I have for his children are right, he and his wife took with him across the river eight children, ranging in age from eight to twenty-one. The History of Adams County credits Obadiah with being the first settler in Green Township, although the county did not have an official name for another two years.

As he did everywhere, Obadiah took an active part in community life. In 1806 residents of the county voted at Obadiah’s home. and Green Township got a name. His fellow citizens also called on him to serve on juries.

Obadiah’s son William (1778-1860), married in 1799 in Ohio (Marriage listed in The History of Adams County). He fathered the first white child born in Green Township, a boy christened Obadiah for his grandfather. The book on Adams County lists 1796 as the birth date for Obadiah Jr. which makes a good story, since that is the year they list as Obadiah becoming the first settler in the county. However since the same book says William and his wife, Margaret Bennett married in 1799, something is amiss. Either the date of birth of the little Obadiah is off–or Margaret and Obadiah did not get married for a while. The latter is reasonable, given the paucity of judges or ministers to perform the ceremony.

Obadiah Stout’s wife Margaret died in 1823 and Obadiah in 1830, both in Adams County, both buried in Stout’s Graveyard.

I am tempted to follow the trails of all the sons and grandsons of Freegift and Obadiah Stout in separate posts, but if I do, the exercise will sidetrack me from my exploration of my main line.

I did write about Aaron Stout and his family here. Aaron moved to Putnam County, Ohio around 1820, a generation after Obadiah’s move to Pennsylvania in the 1770s.

Jediah Stout, born in 1757, the son of Benjamin who was the brother of my ancestor Freegift, settled in Kentucky by 1785, but further south instead of along the Ohio River like Obadiah. I cannot guess whether they were aware of the move they had in common.

Just because I can’t entirely ignore them–here are two of the descendants of Freegift and Obadiah who founded towns in the West.

William Stout , Founder of Another Ohio Town

Plaque at the town of Rome, https://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM2B9G_Rome_Adams_County_Ohio

Another William (1806-1859), the son of the William (1778-1860) mentioned above, perhaps founded the town of Rome in 1835, just down the road from the settlement called Stout. Since the post office came first, it retained the name Stout. The postmaster William Stout also ran a small store. Confusion reigns about which William founded Rome and which served as postmaster. This commemorative sign indicates the senior William, but I tend to believe the History of Adams County, that indicates it was the son who did both, because the book explains that William ran a small store with his brother John. William Senior’s only brother John was scalped by Indians as a child.

Elisha Pinckney Stout, Founder of Two Cities

Although most of William Stout Sr.’s children stayed in Green Township, Adams County, his grandson, Elisha Pinckney Stout, had enough adventures to make up for all of his aunts and uncles and cousins. Elisha, son of William Jr., had been born in Greene Township, Adams County, Ohio. Between 1854 and 1860, He moved to Kansas and Iowa, was a founder of Omaha; elected legislator in Nebraska territory; a gold-hunter at Pike’s Peak; a founder of Denver (where there is still a street named Stout) , and at the age of 25, upon returning to Ohio and getting married, he joined the Union Army where he served as a suttler. A suttler provided goods to soldiers as a civil traveling merchant. He established a prosperous life in the Cincinnati area. He traded in tobacco, had other business interests, and became a prominent banker. Elisha took his last journey toward the end of his life, and I have not discovered why, but in December, 1913 at the age of 79, he died in Los Angeles.

How I Am Related

  • Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson Kaser, who is the daughter of
  • Vera Stout Anderson, who is the daughter of
  • William Cochran (Doc) Stout, who is the son of
  • Isaiah Stout (1822), who is the son of
  • Isaac Stout (1800), who is the son of
  • Isaiah Stout (1773) who is the son of
  • Isaac Stout (1740) who is the son of
  • Freegift Stout, who is the father of
  • Obadiah Stout, who is the father of
  • William Stout, Sr., who is the father of
  • William Stout, Jr., who is the father of
  • Elisha Pinckney Stout.

Notes on Research

  • A History of Adams County; From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present. First Settlers of Greene Township; Nelson Wily Evans and Emmons B Stivers, 1916 Available on books.google.com and on archive.org as a free ebook. (Includes biograph of Elisha Pinkney Stout.
  • Westslyvania Pioneers 1774-1776; William C. Frederick III, Meching Bookbindery: Chicago 1991, Reprinted 2005.
  • Old Times in Old Monmouth; George Beekman and Edwin Salter, Self published 1887. Fairchild NJ: Office of the Monmouth Democrat, 1894. Available at archive.org in digital form.
  • Stout and Allied Families, Vol. 1, Harold F. Stout, Cpt. USN, 1951; self-published. Available at archive.org
  • The Official Roster of the Soldiers of the American Revolution Buried in Ohio, Vol. II Assembled by D.A.R.; published by the Adjutant General of Ohio; Columbus Ohio: F. J. Heer Co. 1929. Available at archive.org in digital format.
  • West Virginia and Its People, Vol. IV; Thomas Condit Miller and Hew Maxwell; Lewis Historical Publishing Company 1913. “The Stout Line” , pg. 1103. I am citing this only because several Ancestry trees quote it. It has several errors in the content on the Stouts, and I do not believe it is reliable.
  • United States Federal Census Reports Green Twp, Adams Co. Ohio, 1820; 1830;1840;1850; 1860; Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio, 1870; Wyoming, Hamilton, Ohio 1880; Springfield, Hamilton, Ohio, 1900, 1910.
  • Tax Lists Mason County Kentucky, 1790; Green, Adams, Ohio, 1808;
  • Petitions of the early inhabitants of Kentucky to the General Assembly of Virginia : 1769-1792 Ancestry.com, Family Search.org
  • Find a Grave, Obediah Stout; William Thomas Stout, Sr.; William Thomas Stout Jr.; Elisha Pinkney Stout (This memorial quotes at length from sources regarding Elisha’s life.)

Mary Higgins: Adding Names to My Family Tree

Mary Higgins (B. 1699-D. AFTER April 1715)

I am pausing in my pursuit of the Stout family to take a look at my 6th great grandmother, Mary Higgins, wife of Freegift Stout. Interestingly, this research also allows me to add to my tree 7th and 8th great-grandparents named Higgins, and 8th great-grandparents named Newbold.

Richard Higgins, Pioneer, Grandfather of Mary Higgins


Like the pioneer settler of the Stout Family, the first comer in the Higgins family had the first name Richard. Richard HIggins arrived in 1632 in Plymouth Colony. Richard Stout arrived about 1643 in New Amsterdam (New York). Both Richards, as we will see, quickly took leadership roles, as they moved to new communities, seeking religious freedom and room to grow their farms in order to support large families. The grandchildren of these two men, Freegift Stout and Mary Higgins, married in New Jersey. (8th Great Grandparents: Richard Stout and Penelope Van Princis; AND Richard Higgins and Mary ___(widow of Yates).)

Richard Higgins, taylor (tailor) first settled in Plymouth Massachusetts, but later moved briefly to Barnstable, presumably as a step on his way to New Jersey. He had arrived in 1632, one of the hundreds of religious dissenters who left England and joined the Pilgrims in Plymouth Colony during the 1630s. He soon married–in 1634 marrying Lydia Chandler (about whom we know little).

I read the main source on the Higgins family, Richard Higgins : A Resident and Pioneer Settler at Plymouth and Eastham, Massachusetts and at Piscatawnay, New Jersey and His Descendants on line (see Notes on Sources below). Author Katherine Higgins carefully documents all the information.


About 1645, Richard Higgins left Plymouth with several other men and their families and settled in Nauset, later to be called Eastham.

The location of Eastham today. Note Nauset Beach, south of Eastham, still bearing the original name of the town. Google Maps.

By the summer of 1651, Lydia had died. Richard and Lydia had two sons: Jonathan and Benjamin.

In June 1651, Richard married a widow, Mary, whose husband, John Yates, had died in 1650. The only name we have for her is that of her late husband. The marriage records appear in the books for Orleans Massachusetts. The book on Richard describes Orleans, a Cape Cod village, as part of the town of Eastham. Mary brought a son, John Yates, to the marriage.

Mary and Richard Higgins had ten children to add to the three they brought from their earlier marriages.

Meanwhile, records show Richard Higgins traveled from Eastham, probably by boat, to the court in Plymouth 1653, 1654, 1655, 1657, 1658, 1660, 1665. He served as a member of a committee representing Eastham, not yet independent and later when it was recognized as a separate entity, as a delegate.

Richard Higgins apparently impressed community leaders as a successful tailor because among the responsibilities the town gave him–juror, road surveyor, legislator–the town leaders gave him the responsibility for a young boy, a ward of the town, as his apprentice. He actively bought and sold land and that indicates he farmed as well as working as a tailor, but about 1669 he started selling and giving to his older two sons land that he had accumulated. This action in preparation for his move to Barnstable and to Piscataway. In the New Jersey town, he once again assumed many leadership roles.


The town of Pisctaway, New Jersey today. Google Maps.

We can calculate the rough date of his death by land records: his last recorded transaction dated June 1, 1675, and one in 1677, referring to his wife Mary as a widow. He had accumulated in Eastham. That land totaled 254 acres by the time of his death–his legacy to his wife and children.

Jediah Higgins, Father of Mary Higgins

Next we come to the oldest child of Mary and Richard Higgins, Jediah Higgins, my 7th great-grandfather.

Jediah, a shoemaker by trade, took a leadership role in the community. He owned 500 acres in New Jersey, a considerable land holding–double what his father had owned. Like his father, he combined his trade with farming and civic/political duties. He served two terms (at least) in the General Assembly of New Jersey, and on numerous juries and committees. The main source on the Higgins family, Katherine Higgins’ book, credits Jediah with being more prominent than any of his siblings.

Jediah’s wife Mary Newbold came from Eckington in County York in England with her parents some time before 1684, the year she married Jediah Higgins at the age of 23. The Newbolds settled in Burlington County, New Jersey. [7th Great-Grandparents: Mary Newbold and Jediah HIggins. 8th Great-Grandparents: Ann (unknown maiden name) and Michael Newbold.]

Mary Higgins Stout

Jediah and Mary’s daughter Mary Higgins, would have been born in New Jersey in 1699. Mary Higgins father, Jediah Higgins, had been born in Eastham, Massachusetts. At the age of twelve, he moved with his parents and siblings to Piscataway New Jersey. Jediah was the oldest of the children of Jediah and his second wife, Mary. This caused some confusion about Mary’s place of birth. When I began my research, her memorial at Find a Grave.com said that she was born in Eastham, Massachusetts instead of New Jersey, her actual birthplace. It could have been either in Piscataway Township, or in Somerset County near Kingston.

Another daughter named Mary had died as a young child. There were two or possibly three girls still living when Mary joined the family and four or possibly five boys. She had one younger brother, born two years after she arrived. Two of her siblings in addition to the first Mary died young (date not known), so she grew up in a family of seven children (out of the ten born).

Mary’s father, Jediah, died in April 1715 and left her 50 pounds to be given to her when she reached 18 years old or married.

When Mary married Freegift Stout (date undiscovered, but circa 1719) they settled in Clover Hill, as we have seen when I wrote about Freegift. Although I know that Freegift and Mary had ten children, I have not found dates for most of those children. I do know that they all lived to adulthood, because there are records of their marriages. That made Freegift and Mary Higgins Stout extremely fortunate parents in an age when people actually expected to lose some of their children in infancy or early childhood.

Although it is difficult to put together a detailed timeline for Mary’s life, she obviously had a busy homelife. Her husband, Freegift, does not show up in books about the area where they lived, as his father’s had, so their life might have been somewhat quieter than that of Jediah and Mary Higgins.

Her six-years-older husband wrote his will in 1763 and died in 1769, at the age of 76 . His will gave the plantation where he lived with some exceptions to his son Isaac Stout (my 5th great grandfather) . Freegift’s wife Mary received all household goods and the will instructed Isaac to give his mother 10 pounds per year.

Mary Higgins Stout’s Will

Perhaps nudged by her husband’s death, Mary wrote her own will in 1770. Some of their children had died by the time she wrote her will, and she named her three surviving daughters, Mary, who now lived in Virginia, and Rebecca and Rachel, as her heirs. Mary seems to have no land of her own. So her heritage for her daughters consisted of household goods and personal belongings. The key part of her will follows:

 First I will that all my Debts and Funeral Charges be paid and discharged by my Executors herein named. Also I give and bequeath unto my — beloved Daughters, Namely Mary the wife of Richard Chamberlain of the collony of Virginia and Rebecca the wife of Edward Taylor & Rachel the wife of Richard Rounsavell — of the Township of Amwell aforesaid their heirs and assigns forever all my whole Estate whatsoever or wheresoever found that shall or may remain after the payment of my Debts &c. as aforesaid to be Equally Divided among them share and share alike And whereas my before mentioned Daughter Mary and her Husband living at a Considerable Distance, I commend unto them or whom it may concern; my well beloved son Freegift Stout to be Trustee for my said Daughter Mary or her Heirs And I do hereby Constitute and appoint my Trusty Friend and well beloved son-in-law Edward Taylor, Sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament and I do hereby disallow, Revoke and Disannul all and every other former Testaments Wills Legacys and Executors by me in any ways before this time Named Willed and bequeathed Ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this Twenty Ninth Day of September in the year of our Lord one Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy: 1770 Mary Stout (mark) Signed, Sealed, Published, Pronounced & declared by the said Mary Stout as her last Will & testament In the Presence of us the Subscribers (Viz.) Benjamin Stout Isaac Stout Mary Stout .

Mary died soon before 19 April 1773 (the date of the appraisal of her goods).

The family buried her at the Stout-Manners cemetery in Ringoes, New Jersey. Freegift’s father, David Stout, one of the first settlers in this area, gave some land from his farm for a graveyard. The Stouts and family of another early settler, John Manners had many intermarriages, and so the graveyard became the Stout-Manners cemetery. [David Stout: 7th Great Grandfather]


Pursuing the story of Mary Higgins Stout has added two more surnames to my family tree and 7th and 8th great-grandparents with the name Higgins and Newbold. I have now traced both the Stout family and the Higgins family back to the 8th great-grandfather, both named Richard, the first of their families to arrive in North America. Also, I discovered the Newbold 8th great-grandfather, Michael Newbold and his wife Ann, who were also first arrivals.

I will go back to talk about one of Freegift and Mary’s children, Obadiah, and then move backward in time Freegift’s father, my 7th great-grandfather, David Stout. (Reserving the right to tell the stories of great-uncles and aunts or cousins as I go back through the Stout line. You know I never can resist a good story. )

To wrap up the Stout family, you will learn the incredible stories of Richard Stout, pioneer of the Stout family, and his wife, my 8th great-grandparents in the Stout line. And somewhere in there, perhaps I will shed light on why my great-great grandfather Isaiah Stout decided to settle in Guernsey County, Ohio at the age of 17.


  • Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson Kaser, who is the daughter of
  • Vera Stout Anderson, who is the daughter of
  • William Cochran (Doc) Stout, who is the son of
  • Isaiah Stout (1822), who is the son of
  • Isaac Stout (1800), who is the son of
  • Isaiah Stout (1773) who is the son of
  • Isaac Stout (1740) who is the son of
  • Mary Higgins Stout and Freegift Stout
  • Mary Higgins Stout is the daughter of Jediah (and Mary Newbold Higgins) who is the son of
  • Richard Higgins , first comer to North America in the Higgins line, and his wife.
  • Mary Newbold Higgins is the daughter of Michael and Ann Newbold.

Notes on Research

Richard Higgins : a resident and pioneer settler at Plymouth and Eastham, Massachusetts, and at Piscataway, New Jersey, and his descendants, Katharine Elizabeth Chapin HIggins ; 1918; Worchester, MA: K. C. HIggins Available free at archive.org in digital format.

New Jersey, Abstract of Wills, 1670-1817, accessed at Ancestry.com

Will of Mary Higgins Stout, transcript originally posted at Ancestry.com by user beanpod113. Posted in the gallery of my tree on Ancestry.com

U. S. and International Marriage Records (1560-1900), 2004, Yates Publishing, accessed at ancestry.com “Mary Higgins, female, b. 1699 Freegift Stout, b. 1693” Note: Original documents or listing in the town where they married would be preferable to this index but so far I have found only this index.

Find a Grave, Mary Stout. Note: I pointed out in the text, errors in the information at this site, but the information has since been corrected

Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, Roxbury, 1630-1867 , Birth of Jediah Higgins at Orleans, MA; Jay Mack Holbrook, Holbrook Institute, Oxford MA :1985, Accessed at Ancestry.com

New Jersey, Abstract of Wills, 1670-1817, Jediah Higgins, 23 April 1715, Ancestry.com

New Jersey, Marriage Records, 1683-1802 ,Jediah Higgins and Mary Newbold, Ancestry.com 2011

Find A Grave, Jediah Higgins, Memorial # 85788158. Note: This Find a Grave entry has extensive information drawn from the book about Richard Higgins and numerous citations of fact.

Find a Grave, Mary Newbold Higgins, Memorial #89040425

Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, Roxbury, 1630-1867 , Richard Higgins and Mary Gates (sic) Jay Mack Holbrook, Holbrook Institute, Oxford MA: 1985; Accessed at Ancestry.com

The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1635, Vol II (1995) Robert Charles Anderson, pgs 928-932. The combination of The Great Migration and The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1635, is on ancestry.com, but no free digital copies exist, and print versions cost from $40 per volume. The information contained here exist in Katherine Higgins biography of Richard HIggins.

U.S., New England Marriages Prior to 1700, Genealogical Publishing Co.; Baltimore, MD, USA; Volume Title: Third Supplement to Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700 . Accessed at ancestry.com

Find a Grave, Richard Higgins, Memorial #7864412


Freegift Stout and His Children: Generation 3 and 4

Freegift Stout (1693-1769), Generation Three

Other Freegift Stout offspring obviously were named for this one, but the name does not show up frequently. Where did his name come from? There must be a meaning for the name Freegift. I’m guessing religious roots. (Most obviously, “Gift of God.”) However, Mr. Google is failing me on this one. Have you heard the name before? Do you know what it means?

Freegift Stout, my 6th Great Grandfather was the father of my direct ancestor Isaac Stout (1740) along with a large number of other children.

What I know of Freegift leads to the conclusion that he led a quiet life as a successful farmer in New Jersey. As documented in his will, he acquired a widespread holding of lands in New Jersey. He did not wander, although one of his sons settled very early along the Ohio River and grandsons and great-grandsons of Freegift scattered across the land, creating new communities everywhere they went. For a summary of what we know so far, see my story about Isaac Stout (1740)

Freegift was the eldest son in the family of David Stout and Rebecca Ashton Stout, born in the area they called Clover Hill in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. He had two older sisters. At the age of twenty-one, Freegift moved along with his father and mother and the rest of the family to the rich farmland of nearby Amwell. Wikipedia describes Clover Hill: “Clover Hill, named for Peter C. Clover, was previously called Koughstown (pronounced kuestown) after Casparus Kough, Jr. and was located on Amwell Road and Clover Hill Road. The village was home to a tavern, store, church, hotel, blacksmith, post office and eight or nine houses. ” See more about Amwell Valley at Wikipedia, where I found this topographic map. Sources describe the valley as rich agricultural land.

Location of the Amwell Valley where David Stout settled and Freegift Stout spent his life.

Freegift Stout and his Family, Generation Four

In 1720, Freegift married Mary Higgins (1699-1773), daughter of Jediah and Mary Higgins. Mary Higgins and her family probably deserve a separate analysis. Most Ancestry trees, based on Find a Grave, say Mary was born in Eastham, Massachusetts. I was scratching my head trying to figure out how Freegift (New Jersey) met Mary (Massachusetts). It turns out that Find a Grave made a mistake. Mary’s father, Jedidiah Higgins moved with his family to Piscataway, New Jersey from Massachusetts, where her grandfather Richard Higgins had emigrated in the early 1600s. Her mother, Mary Newbold came with her family from England and also lived in New Jersey. So Mary was born in Piscataway, New Jersey.

Freegift and Mary lived in Clover Hill the rest of their lives, raising crops and a very large family. Pinning down those family members presented a real challenge. Freegift’s will, written 9 June, 1763, gives the best evidence for names of children, but of course that does not include dates of birth and death. Fortunately, in this case, the women’s husbands are listed, but we have to go elsewhere to find out who the Stout men married.


I have not found any birth records for any of this family. I compared sources, to see which might be the most authoritative. There are endless books on the Stouts and on the places they lived. Here are the major ones I looked at:

The History of the Stout Family: First Settling in Middleton and Somerset Counties, State of New Jersey, by Nathan Stout (1823)

Historical and Genealogical Miscellany: Data Relating to the Settlement and Settlers of New York and New Jersey, Vol. I/II and Vol. IV, by John Stillwell, M. D. Vol 1/II (1904) Vol. IV (1916)

Two books by Herald F. Stout, USN. Staudt-Stoudt-Stout Families of Ohio and Their Ancestors at Home and Abroad (1935) and Stout and Allied Families Vol. 1 (1951)

Since Nathan Stout’s book was the earliest, naturally he became a main source for the other two authors. Comparing lineage lists from the four sources backs that up. Although I assume the information in the book came from family records with limited research, he does not specify, so the foundational information on the Stout line is suspect. I found the most thoroughly researched and documented information in Historical and Genealogical Miscellany. Bless his heart, Dr. Stillwell explains everything in great detail and includes in his book things like lists of cattle brands and marriage licenses, etc. to back up.

Generation Four

Jedidiah Stout , ??-1782(?) Named for maternal grandfather. Married Phillena Chamberlain Daughter Rebecca born before June 1763; Ann, born before 18 May 1766.

Rebecca Stout (Taylor) Married Edward Taylor

Freegift Stout, Jr., 1724-1798 Married Elizabeth Stout , a second cousin.

Mary Stout B. Circa 1726 Married Richard Chamberlain, brother of Jedidiah’s wife Phillena.

Rachel Stout ??-After January 1777 Married Richard Rounsaville

Joshua Stout ?? – 1806

Obadiah Stout 1735-1830. Married Mary McBride

*Isaac Stout 1740-1823 born and died in Clover Hill New Jersey. Married Mary Quimby.

James Stout, married Mary Mattison and had one son, Samuel. Wife died in 1764. Married second Rachel Higgins (d. 1782) in 1765, and had a family.

Sarah Stout (Oliphant) ??- Bef. 1768.

*My 5th great grandfather

Freegift Stout and all of his offspring except one were born and died in New Jersey. These children of Freegift lived through power struggles between the Dutch and the English in New Jersey, the Revolutionary War, and the aftermath of economic problems. Obadiah, born in 1735, fought in the Army and took the land grant to which that entitled him and went West.

Obadiah, the 2x great uncle of my great-grandfather Isaiah was one of the first, if not the first of Isaiah’s Stout uncles and cousins to land in Ohio. Am I getting closer to finding out why my great-great Grandfather settled in Guernsey County, Ohio?

To review, The generations are (1) Richard, (2) David, (3) Freegift, (4) my ancestor Isaac and his brother Obadiah (5) Isaac’s children including my ancestor Isaiah and his brothers Josiah and Aaron, (6) Josiah’s and Aaron’s children.

I last wrote about Josiah and then about Aaron and Aaron’s children, most of whom were restless travelers. Now, having introduced Freegift, I will move back one generation to the children of Freegift–Generation Three. Next I will talk about Obadiah who spawned a family of settlers in the Northwest Territory and beyond.

Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll come along for the ride as more and more Stouts leave New Jersey and head West.


  • Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson Kaser, who is the daughter of
  • Vera Stout Anderson, who is the daughter of
  • William Cochran (Doc) Stout, who is the son of
  • Isaiah Stout (1822), who is the son of
  • Isaac Stout (1800), who is the son of
  • Isaiah Stout (1773) who is the son of
  • Isaac Stout (1740) who is the son of
  • Freegift Stout


A partial genealogy of the DeWitt, Boss, Chamberlain, Cromwell, D’Arcy, Cockey and allied families , Albert Lilborn DeWitt , 1956 Accessed at Ancestry.com

New Jersey, Abstract of Wills, 1670-1817, Ancestry.com, 2011

New Jersey, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1643-1890 , Ancestry.com 1999

FindaGrave.com, Freegift Stout, Sr. # 7350252 . However, based on the dates in the New Jersey abstract of Wills, FAG is mistaken about his date of death.

Hopewell Town Records https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uva.x001174960, page 135.